City Manager Janice Casteel introduced Watson to departmental budget representatives instead of conducting the weekly budget meeting.
Watson, 58, of Hixson, was the accounting manager for Catoosa County, Ga., from 2008 until he accepted his new position. He reported to the chief financial officer in Catoosa County. He saw the chance to be a department head in Cleveland as a promotion.
“It’s a better opportunity here. It’s a dream job for me to be a director of finance. This opportunity came about. Janice has faith in me and I’m not going to let her down,” he said.
Casteel said she interviewed five candidates from of pool of about 20 applications.
“The criteria I was looking for was a Certified Public Accountant with a governmental accounting background. William Watson was my most qualified candidate and I’m so glad to have him join us,” she said.
According to his resume, Watson has more than 25 years of accounting and financial experience with extensive involvement in public accounting, management accounting, financial reporting, cost accounting, inventory and cost control, internal auditing, budgeting, forecasting, risk management analysis and industrial engineering.
His employment history includes Catoosa County, Ed Staten CPA, Dalton, Ga.; Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant, Chattanooga; The Barn Nursery, Chattanooga; and Crown Crafts, Calhoun.
Watson earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has an adult daughter and two grandchildren.
Former City Finance Director Mike Keith resigned his post with the city of Cleveland, effective May 31. Keith assumed the duties as finance director/city clerk on Feb. 6, 2007, to replace Casteel, who was appointed assistant city manager on Jan. 1, 2007, by former City Manager Joe Cate.
The assistant’s job came open after David Jones left for a county executive position in Illinois. Cate resigned as city manager June 30, 2007. He was replaced by Casteel, effective July 1, 2007. Keith returned to the city of Athens where he was city finance director for 11 years prior to accepting the job in Cleveland.